Nuclear Power: A Status Report

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Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Working Paper #58

September 2006

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Nuclear energy is undergoing a renaissance driven by two very loosely coupled needs; the first for much more energy to support economic growth worldwide, and the second to mitigate global warming driven by the emission of greenhouse gases from fossil fuel. A new generation of power reactors has been developed that are safer, easier to operate, and purported to have lower capital costs. This, coupled with rising costs of fossil fuels and concerns about environmental pollution from fossil fuel power plants, has lead to an increase in orders for new plants, mainly from Asia, but beginning to impact North America and Europe as well.

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